Bulletin Board System

Back in the early 1980's, I used to run a BBS (bulletin board system) on my Commodore computer. I initially started out with a VIC-20, and eventually moved up to a Commodore 64, and then ultimately IBM-compatible computers. I ran a BBS on all those platforms from 1983 up until 1993. I was also the sysop (system operator) for the Microsoft Canada BBS in the early 1990s, which had a bank of 32 high speed modems!

A bulletin board system is a program that runs on a computer server, and it allows users to dial into the system to read bulletins, send and receive messages, and upload and download files. They were quite common back in the 80s and early 90s and were essentially the precursor to the Internet.

I still run a BBS to this day on a Commodore 64. It's called (of course) The DeepSkies BBS. You can access it over the Internet at:

You can use a real Commodore computer (VIC-20, C64, C128, etc) and a WiFi modem, or you can use an emulator like the VICE emulator, or you can use a piece of software such as MuffinTerm, SyncTerm or CGTerm.

Screenshot of the DeepSkies BBS

I'm also building a VIC-20 BBS to recreate the original bulletin board that I started running in 1983. I wrote the software myself back then, and due to the VIC's speed and memory limitations, I wrote the entire program in machine language. I am doing that again now, and it's coming along quite well. You can check the status of the project on its own STATUS WEBPAGE. You can also try connecting to it from your own VIC-20 by dialing up:

It's still in a very alpha stage at this point - you can only login, see the splash screen and then you immediately get dropped to Chat mode. But a lot of the underlying functions have been built, and I've still got plenty of RAM left on my VIC!

Feel free to check out both my boards if you're interested. If you have any questions about my boards or about BBSing in general, feel free to send me an email to [email protected].